How Clean is Your Indoor Air Quality?
The quality of your life and the quality of your air are closely connected. Studies have shown that when you improve home air quality, you improve the health and well-being of yourself and your family. There are a number of health issues that can be caused or exacerbated by having unclean air circulating through your home; conversely, you will reap a wide variety of benefits if the air in your home is kept free of dust, dander, and bacteria.
What are the benefits of clean air?
Particulate matter, such as dust, pollen, or pet dander, is directly connected with several major health issues. Improve home air quality and you are likely to see a dramatic and immediate decrease in allergies suffered by your family members. Allergies have multiple main causes, such as pet dander, mold, and pollen, and all of those things can build up if your air isn’t being cleaned properly.
Another major health issue that is exacerbated by an unclean atmosphere is asthma; pollutants in the air such as soot and smog make asthma attacks worse and more frequent. These pollutants can actually be more concentrated inside the home as opposed to the outdoor air; taking steps to ensure the air quality is clean will go a long way toward reducing the frequency and severity of asthma-related issues.
Vectors that cause diseases, such as bacteria and viruses, also tend to accumulate in homes with poor or unclean air circulation. If you find that your family seems to be getting sick more often and staying sick longer, poor ventilation could be the culprit.
Your body will also be better equipped to fight off illnesses if it’s not already dealing with allergens and pollutants; you will likely find that your family’s overall health will improve if you take steps to improve home air quality.
How do I know if my air is clean?
The air in your home is circulated by your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system. Especially during hot summers and cold winters, when all the windows are shut and the heating or cooling systems are at full blast, if your HVAC system has not been properly maintained, your air quality will suffer.
The ventilation system in your home employs filters to catch dust, allergens, and pollutants, but over time these filters become dirty and as they do, they become less efficient. Eventually, if they’re not regularly changed, the filters will become so encrusted with dust and filth that they can no longer do their jobs effectively.
Many factors can contribute to the useful life of these filters; if your outdoor air is unusually dirty, you’ll probably need to have your filters changed more regularly, for example. Whatever the case, you will want to keep yourself aware of how clean the air in your home is.
Home air quality tests do exist, but the best thing to do is simply to have a regular professional inspection of your HVAC system. Find a reputable HVAC company and ask them to perform an inspection of your whole system. They can then offer recommendations for you to improve home air quality.
What will a professional HVAC company do?
The heating and cooling in your home is attended to by a large, complex system with many different working machinery parts and as such, it needs regular maintenance. Just as a car needs the occasional visit to the mechanic, your HVAC system must receive regular service or its performance will suffer.
A professional HVAC inspection will go through and thoroughly check every part of your air conditioning and heating units; they will clean or replace filters and check parts such as fan motors to ensure they’re in working order. They will also check the ducts in your home, as no matter how efficient the HVAC system is, if the ducts are leaky or otherwise not functioning properly, your air quality will suffer.
The company will perform an air quality inspection and if the results are less than desired, they will seek out any problems that the heating and cooling system may have. They will make sure that things such as coolants are kept at the level they need to be. If major repairs are needed, they will make suggestions for that as well.
What if I need major repairs?
The recommendations you get from your HVAC company will depend on several factors. Just as with any mechanical system, your furnace and air conditioning become more prone to needing repairs the older they get. Eventually, systems become outdated and in need of a full replacement.
It is also possible, if your HVAC system has not been updated in 10 years or more, that it will be most cost-effective for you to simply replace it. This can also happen if the HVAC system in your home was never effective in the first place. This is something which does occur; homes can often have HVAC systems that are built for the wrong size dwelling and struggle to do their jobs properly. If you require a new system, an HVAC company can take this on as well.
Modern technology has given us air conditioning and heating that is more energy efficient and capable than ever before. Features now include moisture control to improve indoor air quality and smart controls that make it easier than ever to keep your home at the temperature you desire.
How to choose an HVAC company
The most important step to take to improve indoor air quality is to find a reputable HVAC company. Do not simply go for the cheapest option; you get what you pay for and if a company seems suspiciously cheap it may be because they cut corners and will not fix your heating and cooling system effectively.
If you pick the cheapest option it may end up costing you a lot more money in the long run. So instead, look for a company that has technicians who are experienced and certified. You can also ask around for referrals; find people in your area who have had their HVAC systems repaired or replaced and ask for their recommendations.